Monday, October 4, 2010

Excommunication by Fax

CBCP reminds Aquino about excommunication

CBCP head denies excommunication threat

‘Excommunication’ threats can boomerang on Church – senators

"The opposition against the RH (reproductive health bill) is too premature. A hearing has yet to be held and they are already against it. The Church and President Aquino are already fighting over it when we don’t even know the final form of the bill being pushed. It’s not even in first base,’" said Senator Joker Arroyo in an interview with dzBB radio.
[Oh c'mon Sir Joker. opposition premature?? The bill reached 3rd reading last Congress and it was just re-filed. Re-filed, get that?]

Senator Edgardo Angara said the threat of excommunication was an "argument by those without an argument, if you can’t say anything, just make threats.’"

[Without an argument?? I think all this time, Senator Angara was hiding behind a rock]

He [Joker Arroyo] said threatening excommunication could boomerang on the Church especially if Congress enacted the RH bill. "Will the Church have the guts to excommunicate the majority of congressmen and senators who voted for it?’"
[In other words, Sir Joker issues a challenge: C'mon I dare you to excommunicate all of us!]

If there is any premature, and pointless talk going around, it is about the perceived threat of excommunication. There is no threat of excommunication as clarified by CBCP.

"While the prevailing sentiment of a number of bishops was that of dismay and frustration over the reported stance of the President regarding artificial contraceptives, excommunication has not been contemplated by the CBCP," said [CBCP President Bishop] Odchimar.

Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales... also said that the threat of the CBCP to excommunicate the President was not true. Rosales even blamed media for the controversy, saying that they merely made up the issue, according to a report by Radyo Inquirer.

“Gawa-gawa ng media ang issue [Media has made up the issue] and it is not true that Aquino will be excommunicated,” Rosales was quoted as saying on Radyo Inquirer.

While Senators Angara and Arroyo seem to have taken a cocksure and arrogant stance, Senator Miriam Santiago seems to have taken the issue quite seriously, or comically, depending on which way you look at it. Reacting to the excommunication issue, she wrote a letter (yes, wrote a letter!) to CBCP President Nereo Odchimar basically saying : please don't excommunicate me. Part of her letter reads:

"May I respectfully submit that the penalty of excommunication for pro-RH (reproductive health) legislators, who are merely exercising the preferential option for the poor under liberation theology, would be too extreme and disproportionate. It will raise constitutional issues about church-state relationship."

The mere mention of the word "Liberation Theology" is a dead give-away that her arguments in the letter is totally off the wall. She throws in for good measure inane arguments such as "The natural-law theory is already obsolete" and the usual but boring "we are bound to follow our conscience faithfully in all our activity".

She ends her letter by saying "So please do not excommunicate President Aquino, myself, and those similarly situated. Thank you very much."

Haha. It's just like going to confession and seeking absolution through a letter. Bishop Odchimar would do well to fax her back a letter, stating:

"Dear Madam Senator, You are hereby excommunicated right this very moment. Best regards,"

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